What Your Teacher Did Not Tell You About Abstinence: A Critical Analysis of the Arguments in Favor of the Teaching of Abstinence-Only Sexual Education in Public Schools
Sammanfattning: Although Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs have proven ineffective in reducing teenage pregnancy rates and the spread of STDs, thirteen states in the U.S still stress abstinence in their sexual education curricula. This in turn has created a big debate over what sexual education in public schools should contain. This paper intends to determine whether the arguments proposed by three advocacy groups for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage can justify the teaching of the programs in public schools. The advocacy groups have been chosen because of their frequent participation in the debate, and because they bring the controversial issue of religion in sexual education into it. By using Ludvig Beckman’s methodology of a critical analysis of ideas it has been possible to test the logical validity, empirical strength, and normative plausibility of the three chosen arguments. The results of the analysis show that most of the arguments are logically valid; however, many of them lack empirical support, and cannot be considered normatively plausible. Therefore, the three arguments should not be taken into account in the formation of new and effective sexual education policies.
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